Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Hello, Mr. MacKinnon, Parliamentary Secretary, and all the senior public servants who are with us today.
I am very pleased to receive you. We have been waiting for your attendance for several months. That is not a criticism at all; I know that you have a busy agenda. I am pleased to have you here.
Mr. MacKinnon, I will ask you questions today about the report from the Standing Senate Committee on Official Languages in May 2017, which recommended that your department act as soon as possible regarding Francophone schools in Vancouver.
You say that, in July 2017, you implemented a new procedure. As I understand it, following the zoning change approved by the municipality, the project can move ahead. Can we understand that this is almost complete?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
When we Committee members visited Vancouver a year and a half ago, we adopted a unanimous motion to give moral and political support to the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique.
If I called the members of the CSF today, are you sure that they would say that everythign is going well, that the matter is progressing and that they are convinced that the project will go ahead?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
On page 6, under "Positive Measures", you refer to the implementation of a new procedure.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Could you give some more information on the new procedure that you allowed you to advance the project in Vancouver?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. McBain.
Mr. MacKinnon, I will nevertheless ask you a question, given that you are the political stakeholder in this matter.
I know that, like Mr. McBain said, there are several stakeholders, particularly the municipalities and school boards, and that we need to work together. What the Committee understands is that according to the provisions governing real estate companies, there is a hierarchy that must be respected when disposing of a property. I checked this and, based on the latest news, your department does not place official-language minority communities at the top of the hierarchy.
Beyond that cooperation, wouldn't it be commendable and even necessary to raise the position of OLMCs on that list so that they are nearly at the top?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
However, official-language minority communities have not been officially placed higher in the hierarchy as provided by the Act.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Alright. Thank you, Mr. MacKinnon. We will certainly send them to you.
To close your presentation, you said that PSPC is committed "to promoting and supporting bilingualism in Canada in everything we do." For my part, I noted during all of my meetings with representatives of OLMCs that they were a bit tired of hearing about promotion and all the rest. You make these speeches, while at the same time, we noted that two months ago, your department's Internet sites that featured calls for tenders were riddled with errors in the French. I am not saying you are guilty of anything, but I am telling you this respectfully. These were grammar or even translation errors. It is interesting and all the more since we have Mr. Déry from the Translation Bureau with us.
It seems that we currently have a lack of leadership in Cabinet. How do you answer for this?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Déry, I have a question further to that of Mr. Samson.
Do you personally think the departments should be required to use your bureau's services?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I see.
Thank you, Mr. Déry.
Madame Sultan, you explained quite clearly the difference between the disposal as routine or strategic, which is the third step in the disposal process.
Is step 4, which emphasizes aboriginal consultation, routine disposal or strategic disposal?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Yes, because it seems to me that routine and strategic are part of steps 3, 4, and 5, kind of.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
It's the Société canadienne d'hypothèques et de logement, or SCHL.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
That's really important for the committee.
So does priority go back to the party that responds first?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Yes and no, because I'm not entirely certain I clearly understand.
If the determination as to whether it's a routine or strategic disposal is made before the aboriginal consultation, what's the point of the aboriginal consultation?
For example, let's say the disposal is routine or strategic and that a lot of people have expressed interest.
You're at the disposal determination step, and everyone is interested, whether it be crown corporations, provinces or municipalities. Two weeks later, you get a call from an aboriginal community.
Will it have priority over all the other parties that have already expressed interest?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Yes, but Mrs. Levesque said there was a kind of immediate synergy between step 3 and step 5.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Which of the two takes precedence?
Is it interest-based or rights-based?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Dear colleagues and citizens, here's the notice I submitted last Thursday:
That the Committee call on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to reverse its decision, effective April 1, 2019, to end unilingual francophone training at its academy, Depot Division in Saskatchewan.
I would like to say that there's no particular intent behind this motion. I was somewhat troubled when I saw it. In fact, it really made me angry. I thought that, if the committee unanimously agreed to this motion, that would send a strong signal. I even hoped that the present Government of Canada would find this decision clearly made no sense. I think it's a non-partisan issue.
I sought an outside professional opinion on Canadian law. Those people told me that the RCMP probably had budget considerations. In its own view, it may feel they are legitimate—I know that budget issues are not always easy for the RCMP—but our duty isn't to consider the RCMP's concerns regarding budgets or other matters. Our duty is to determine whether this decision contradicts the spirit or letter of the Official Languages Act, which, according to the opinion I have received, is the case.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. Fraser, thank you for being here today and meeting with the committee on your own personal time.
We all know how deep your knowledge of the Official Languages Act runs, on both a theoretical and a practical level.
Since you talked about the Gascon decision and the fact that the federal government is appealing the decision, I'd like to keep that momentum going.
You know as well as we do that the FCFA—
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Yes, of course. Thank you.
You're aware that the FCFA is calling for stronger language in the modernized act, mainly, that the word “may” be replaced by the word “shall”—in English—and that the word “peut” be replaced by the word “doit”—in French.
Do you think that change in terminology should be applied to part VII as well?
If so, how would it impact the division of powers under the Constitution?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
You're talking about regulations to enforce part VII, just as part IV has regulations, are you not?
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